Universities help year 13s ahead of new academic year

UUK has shared case studies of initiatives designed to support school and college leavers after Covid disruption

Universities are supporting year 13s set to begin higher education in the 2021–22 academic year.

A new collection of case studies – published today by Universities UK – shows how 12 universities are helping freshers-to-be with extra activities targeted at three key areas: academic skills development, preparation and transition to university life, and wellbeing.

UUK has issued the case studies in order to inspire all higher education institutions to develop initiatives to support incoming undergraduates, as teachers and parents express concern that young people starting a degree this autumn will be disadvantaged academically due to the disruption caused by Covid-19.

We hope that our initiatives will enable students starting university in the UK this autumn to have a safe, happy, and smooth transition to higher education – Julia Buckingham, UUK

“Universities recognise the challenges that Year 13 students have faced over the past 15 months and as a sector we are stepping up the support we are offering to all those starting a degree this autumn”, said UUK president Professor Julia Buckingham.

“Applicants can expect more guidance from their university, with many initiatives taking place over the summer months.

“The whole education sector shares a common aim which is to ensure students emerge from the pandemic fully supported to succeed. We hope that our initiatives will enable students starting university in the UK this autumn to have a safe, happy, and smooth transition to higher education.”

Among the year 13 projects shared with the sector today are:

The University of Sheffield – year 13s can access its interactive study skills resource before they arrive at university and until week 12 of their course.

The University of Cambridge – a four-week STEM Start course revising school materials. In addition, a 16-month pilot programme is being planned to support year 12 widening participation students from January 2022 through to examination results in 2023.

The University of Leicester – its HeadStart campaign includes a digital readiness module, live and on demand sessions with student-created content such as cooking demonstrations, Netflix ‘watch-alongs’ and quiz nights. There are also sessions for parents.


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